Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Ian Wishart is a Hypocritical Twat.

Now I'm not normally one to lay criticism at another journalist's door, but just this once I'm going to make an exception.



Recently Mr Wishart gained a lot of attention in his Smoking Gun issue of his Investigate Magazine. It titillated and promised undisclosed juicy details about Peter Davis, the husband of Prime Minister Helen Clark.


In the magazine was a picture of Peter Davis being embraced by an unidentified man. Who was this man Mr Wishart demanded, and what did it all mean. Needless to say the connotations centred very much on whether or not Mr Davis was gay and it sparked a media frenzy.

Dramatic eh!

It would be a fair enough evaluation to say Ian Wishart, by his approach was probing into the personal life of a public figure. Unequivocal in fact.

So why am I maintaining Mr Wishart is a hypocrite?

Well the other day I came across a very old copy of Investigate Magazine, one of the very early ones in fact. For those who are curious I refer you to the issue released in July of 2000 and recommend you look at an op-ed piece written by Mr Wishart on page 79. Actually as it's probably reasonably hard to find I'll transcribe the full article here for your edification.

Sex, drugs, a horse, and a teenager. IAN WISHART wants to know whether the media realise they're in a glass house.

Sex sells. And nowhere more so than on the desk of some bored news editor whose own life is so tedious they have to get their titillation from writing about other people's pecadilloes.

So what if Mark Todd uses cocaine? If the Sunday Mirror had revealed that his horse had snorted the Colombian marching dust I'd probably be more concerned, but I can't just get excited about Todd's personal habits, if any.

In my career as a radio/TV/print journalistI have seen so many of my colleagues stoned, drunk or both in varying stages of moral decay. I don't need to name names. They know who they are.

Narcotics are not something I've ever wanted to indulge in - apart from a brief fling with marijuana as a 20 year old radio reporter, which I quit because I felt it was fuzzing my short term memory.

But my fellow journalists not only went with dope, they progressively got stuck into harder narcotics like speed, ecstasy, cocaine, and even heroin.

In some places I worked, the sight of manic reporters with horribly glazed eyes and sinus problems was one of the amusing highlights of my day.

Hell, at Radio Hauraki in 1984 I came to work one day only to find that half of my fellow employees had been picked up in a dawn raid by police investigating a cocaine ring - the same investigation that saw a National MP left untouched by police because arresting the MP would have upset the Muldoon Government's one seat majority and caused a snap election.

Now in the latter case had Iknown of the the MP's involvement at the time I would have run it as a news story for obvious reasons - but not simply because the MP was using cocaine. The only news value in the story for me was that police allowed political pressure to influence their judgement.

And so back to Mark Todd. I, and I'm sure most New Zealanders, don't want to know what he does in his spare time or who he does it with. The only legitimate news value in the Mirror story was whether or not any alleged drug taking would affect Todd's equestrian performance.

As for the Dover Samuels affair, spare me! Regardless of wheter he showed stupidity in getting involved with a teenage girl, unless it is shown that she was underage then he has done nothing illegal, no matter how much any of us may find it repugnant.

For the Prime Minister to sack him, before all the evidence is in and without allowing due process to be followed, shows how hollow the Government's words are on our employment law - any employment lawyer worth his salt would have a field day with this on a personal grievance/unjustified dismissal basis.

Given that some MPs have paid out sums of $90,000 or more to extortionists to cover up sexual misdeeds, one wonders how long before the lid blows on that one.

Again the news value is not the sex, it is the fact that some of our MPs have been compromised and could be blackmailed into committing treason or corruption.

It is time for the media to watch the ball, not the balls.

Investigate Magazine,
July 2000.

Pot, kettle, black. Utter hypocrisy wouldn't you agree?

Actually what is more disturbing is what is written in paragraph 12. The allegation that some MP's have paid hush money to cover up their sexual misdeeds. Does this ring any bells for anyone? Have you heard something very similar recently? For example, private investigators hired by the Exclusive Brethren.

Now Mr Wishart has categorically denied having anything to do with the Brethren or the private investigators and maintains they've had no role in stories (you'll have to search his blog for specifics) he's run about Dunedin based Labour Cabinet Ministers David Benson-Pope and David Parker. But coincidentally one of the private investigators contracted by the Exclusive Brethren, Mr Wayne Idour, also lives in Dunedin.

Maybe it's just happenstance, maybe the PI's have based their stories on old Investigate stories, maybe they and Mr Wishart have been digging in the same areas ... I don't know for sure. But something certainly smells here.

1 comment:

Ian Wishart said...

Just for the record...nothing in the July 2000 commentary is at odds with our decision to investigate the activities of Peter Davis and Helen Clark.

Mark Todd is not standing for election. He is not drawing a public salary. He has no power over the day to day lives of ordinary taxpayers.

The story in the Davis/Clark case is not their sexuality per se, but hypocrisy and possible illegality.

Subtle, maybe you missed the distinction, but it is there.

In regards to the Brethren...my investigations into David Parker and David Benson-Pope are matters of public record. In Parker's case, the victim came to me in an email which I published. In Benson-Pope's case I went through the police file...also clearly documented.

If you read what we published, there is simply no opportunity for outside assistance... Idour may well have continued his investigations on the back of what Investigate did...but that's hardly my responsibility...